Google is Shoppable, and American Eagle is #moody

In this episode:

Image via  ADWEEK

Image via ADWEEK

◇ Google upgrades its shopping feature and Google Lens uses enhanced image recognition for better product recommendations.

Customers can now shop and purchase products directly through Google - without having to click through to a website. The third-party sellers will still fulfil the orders; the company is merely streamlining the process. The company is also facilitating returns, refunds, and offering some other forms of customer service.

If nothing else, the expansion of shopping will keep people on the search engine for longer, giving the platform even more leverage in advertising.

Google's announcement didn't come only with convenience for shoppers. The company said it's offsetting the carbon emissions created by the delivery economy, with more investments in quote "clean energy projects".

For retailers, and indeed, for Google's own information, the company is rolling out price tracking for products, which it compares to its flight fare tracker. The price tracker follows specific products a shopper selects, and when the price changes, the potential customer is notified via email or text.

Google image search will become increasingly important. Inventory positions can now be seen directly in the search results (whether or not an item is in stock or not). Further, one more feature to be aware of, the company is expanding it's Digital Lens. Similar styles will show comparable products and style ideas. Now, using a photo of an outfit you like — for instance, something you found on Instagram — Google Lens will be able to pull up other "style ideas" from around the web. For example, if you found a cute sweater on social media, you could take a screenshot then use Lens in Google Photos to see how other people have been photographed wearing that same skirt.

Google Shopping certainly seems geared towards large organizations which have the infrastructure to take advantage of this quickly. The company, of course, insists otherwise.

Within Google Shopping, customers can filter across which retailers are offering the item at the lowest price or which ones are offering free shipping. Additionally, customer can see which brands have it available nearby.

The snag? Customers who use loyalty cards such as a Target RedCard will not have Google Shopping purchases count towards those cards—even if they shop at that retailers.

Google says the new Google Shopping is live in the U.S. on web and mobile today. Google Lens's latest feature is also live, but only in the U.S. only for now.

Google and Pinterest seem to see a similar path forward, both having invested in significant improvements to image recognition recently. A few weeks ago, Pinterest rolled out "shop the look ads," in which brands can add multiple products into a single ad, and new shopping and video tabs to business profiles.

Time to get those holiday dollars - NRF is projecting between a 3 and 5 per cent increase over last year.

Image via  MOOD

Image via MOOD

◇ American Eagle Outfitters launches a genderless CBD beauty and wellness brand: Mood.

American Eagle has unveiled a new brand to add to its roster in time for the holiday season: Mood. Mood is hemp-based wellness and personal care product line - developed by Green Growth Brands.

Clean beauty is a sector that has seen significant growth of late and continues to be an intensifying product category in beauty. American Eagle's launch is the perfect example of a significant player hoping to take market share as the category matures.

The genderless collection has six scents, quote, "for the mind and body" end quote: Chill, Energized, Focused, Refreshed, Soothed and zZz.

Mood's 45 products include 100% hemp-derived CBD products like body lotions, hand creams, face oil, aromatherapy oil, pillow mist, muscle balm, lip salve.

The launch campaign features their customer talking about the self-care routines that help them manage the pressures of everyday life.

H&M's sales and profits continue to rise defying the so-called demise of Fast Fashion

◇ H&M delivered a great quarter, growing almost 20% in the US, and 30% in India.

H&M delivered a big quarter: The continued development of more full-price sales and reduced markdowns contributed to a 26% increase in operating profit in the third quarter, all while maintaining a high level of activity in the company's transformation work.

H&M said growth was good in many markets, including the U.S. where sales in local currencies rose by 19%, Poland by 20%, Italy by 15%, Russia by 12% and India by 29%. Quite a contrast from the news from Forever 21 this week.